Sports and Outdoors

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hoosier Hunters bag 610 wild turkeys

Indiana hunters killed 610 wild turkeys during the 2008 fall wild turkey hunting season. Wild turkeys were killed in 57 of the 74 counties open to turkey hunting during the season, which ran from Oct. 1 to 19.

The 2008 season was Indiana’s fourth modern-day fall turkey hunting season. Hunters experienced a 4 percent increase in success when compared to the 585 turkeys taken during the 2007 fall turkey season. The record is 716 turkeys in 2005.

During the 14-day archery-only season, Oct. 1 to 14, hunters killed 132 turkeys, accounting for 22 percent of the total. The majority of the fall harvest occurred during the combined shotgun and archery season, Oct. 15 to 19, when hunters killed 478 turkeys, accounting for 78 percent of the total fall harvest.

Adult female turkeys accounted for 46.8 percent of the total kill. Adult male turkeys accounted for 27.7 percent. The remaining 25.5 percent consisted of juvenile birds, 17.3 percent of which were female with 8.2 percent male. The juvenile-to-adult ratio was 1 to 3. According to DNR biologist Steve Backs, the high adult proportion was probably related to a combination of hunter selectivity and below-average brood production in 2008.

Harrison County topped the hunter success list with 40 turkeys, followed by Switzerland (36), and Pike (31).

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